Mike Hilgers

Nebraska Attorney General

Nebraska Attorney General's Office Issues Consumer Alert Regarding Family Emergency Scams

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office is issuing a Consumer Alert regarding an increase in Family Emergency Scams in Nebraska. 

The Family Emergency, or Grandparents Scam, involves scammers reaching out to Nebraskans by phone and text with emotionally gripping stories and an urgent need for money. Scammers know you are more likely to give money to someone you trust, so they pose as family members in crisis. 

These scams are a form of Imposter Scams. According to the FTC, Imposter Scams were the top reported fraud category last year, with more than 850,00 reports from consumers, and 21% of these reported a dollar loss.

Scammers may also pose as authority figures, like a bail bondsman, hospital representative, attorney, or police officer, requesting money on behalf of your family member.

If you receive a call or text like this, here are four things you can do:

  • Hang up. Even if the scammer tells you to keep it a secret, call the family member in question on a number you know is theirs. Contact other family members to confirm the story.
  • Verify the identity of anyone claiming to be an authority figure. If a scammer claims to be from a certain agency, hang up and contact the agency directly.
  • Don't send money. Scammers ask for payment methods like cash, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, gift cards, or mobile payment apps.
  • Stay calm. Scammers want to upset you. They know they have a bigger chance of stealing your money when your judgment is impaired. 

For more, visit our consumer website at ProtectTheGoodLife.Nebraska.gov or call our Consumer Affairs Response Team at 402-471-2682.